The Great UK Gin Emporium: Top Picks

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Love gin? From the classic, dry taste of pure juniper berries to the unusual and varied botanical variations, there’s a gin for everyone. Take a peek at our top picks of gin experiences, bars and adventures across the UK and look forward to a positively delightful break away somewhere new… chin chin.

Gin Bar at Holborn Dining Room

Gin Bar is home to London’s largest selection of gins, with a whopping 500 different varieties! Add 30 tonics into the mix and you’ve got over 14,000 pairings to choose from. Feeling overwhelmed? No fear, as the friendly and knowledgeable bartenders are on hand to help you find your perfect G&T tipple.

Gin Fact #1: Gin was first developed in London in around 1689.

The Bombay Sapphire Distillery

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Pretty, right? As well as its aesthetically pleasing exterior, The Bombay Sapphire Distillery is also home to one of the UK’s favourite gins. Take a tour of the fascinating Laverstoke Mill as part of your Hampshire Super Break and learn more about this intriguing drink and how it’s produced.

Gin Fact #2: There are more classic cocktails made with gin than any other spirit, including Negroni, Tom Collins, Singapore Sling, Vesper and Bee’s Knees.

Newcastle Gin at Bealim House

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When you learn that the gin is distilled on the premises where you drink it, you know it’s going to be a memorable experience. Enter Bealim House, which produces the famous hibiscus-infused Newcastle Gin. For further discoveries, keep your eyes peeled for their gin tasting events.

Gin Fact #3: Gin is well-known for its medicinal purposes… The Royal Navy used it to prevent scurvy (mixed with lime cordial), settle the stomach (blended with angostura) and was heavily used as an anti-malarial (combined with quinine tonic).

Heads and Tales – Edinburgh

A true hidden gem of Edinburgh, Heads and Tales is the official home of Edinburgh Gin. There are two stills installed in the bar itself, affectionately named Caledonia and Flora, which are worth the visit alone! What’s more, with the GIY (Gin It Yourself) option, you can become the master of your G&T dreams…

Gin Fact #4: The country that consumes the most gin in the world is The Philippines, with an incredible 25 million cases consumed annually.

Copper House Distillery – Adnams, Suffolk

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The distillery has been named the most energy-efficient in the UK; with its distinctive grass roof, solar panels, hemp walls and nearby wild flowers. Explore the distillery by booking a tour – they also brew beer too, for those of you who aren’t as keen on spirits.

Gin Fact #5: The UK spends over £1 billion a year on gin!

The Grand Hotel & Spa – York

An afternoon tea served alongside a teapot generously filled with Hendrick’s Gin and a tasty tonic? Yes, please. You can find this veritable treat at The Grand Hotel & Spa in York; where elegant furnishings, superb customer service and luxurious extras are as standard.

Gin Fact #6:  Gin’s primary flavour comes from the humble juniper berry.  Other botanicals are then added to the neat gin to highlight the nuances of flavour. Popular botanicals include rose, cucumber and pink peppercorns.

Gin Festival London

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Head down to Tobacco Docks in London as part of your capital break away and revel in a celebration of all things gin. Masterclasses, tasting events, meet and greets and free samples make this soiree one to put in the diary.

Gin Fact #7: By 1726, London had over 1,500 working stills and 6,287 places where you could buy gin.

Spirit of Harrogate

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This cosy little store champions the iconic Slingsby Gin of Harrogate, and it’s easy to see why (it’s deee-licious). Treat yourself to one of their comprehensive Gin Experiences and learn more about the craft (while sipping on tasty cocktails yourself, of course). For further gin adventures, Harrogate hosts an annual Gin Festival.

Gin Fact #8: Bathtub Gin really was a thing in the prohibition era. People would attempt to make the drink by mixing cheap grain alcohol with fermented juniper juice in their baths… with disastrous consequences. Most of the liquid was undrinkable, let alone highly dangerous!

40 St Paul’s – Birmingham

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The stylish little bar (it only has 24 seats) has recently won Best Gin List for its 140 different types on offer. Other awards the bar’s picked up include Best Gin Menu in the UK – Imbibe Menu Awards and Best Gin Bar in the UK – Icons of Gin Awards. For a truly relaxed Sunday, head to 40 St Paul’s for gin cocktails, bar snacks and a communal game of the notorious ‘Cards Against Humanity’.

Gin Fact #9: Many doctors wore masks which were filled with juniper berries during the Plague outbreak – this was to cover bad smells and help ward off the Plague in general.

Jenever – Liverpool

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Gin tasting has never looked so stylish. Sit back with friends and (responsibly) work your way through a fine selection of gins, flavoured tonics and fresh fruits. There’s a bonus, too… Jenever is placed on the only street in the world with a cathedral at either end, which makes for quite a destination to say you’ve visited!

Gin Fact #10: Despite popular belief, gin doesn’t make you depressed!

Atlas Bar – Manchester

This award-winning bar in Manchester is passionate about great gins, so much so that they’ve set up their very own website ‘ginbible’ as a way of showcasing its impressive, ever-evolving collection. The bar also hosts regular events, so if you want to learn more about the good stuff there’s a wealth of options for you.

Gin Fact #11: The minimum alcoholic strength by volume of gin is 37.5%…but many tend to be much higher than this.

Lakes Distillery

Ahh, the peaceful surroundings of the Lake District – where better to enjoy a cheeky G&T? Take a fascinating distillery tour and learn more about the artistry that goes into making the products, before sitting back with a delicious gin cocktail. Keep an eye out for the resident alpacas too!

Gin Fact #12: The world’s most expensive gin costs an eye-watering £2,000 per bottle. The gin is called Watenshi and is a ‘Japanese Angel’ gin… if you fancied a measure of it it’d set you back £70!

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